I've been doing a bit of adventuring since I last posted. Spent some time at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park here in Arizona. Then last weekend did a lot of walking at the Grand Canyon.

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park sign

Tonto Natural Bridge is the primary thing you come to this park to experience. It's a great, cool place (temperature-wise), too for those living in the hotter areas of Arizona to escape to. The water is cold and the general temperature is probably twenty to twenty-five degrees less than Phoenix due to the elevation.

Tonto Natural Bridge

Not too much of a hike/walk to get to the bridge. I'd recommend going early to avoid the crowds. A beautiful, worthwhile trip.

Grand Canyon National Park

Pictures and videos can't really capture how majestic the Grand Canyon really is. You have to see it with your own eyes.

It's a different experience over a full day as you see the colors change from sunrise to sunset. The same view is completely different depending on what time you are looking.

Grand Canyon at sunset

I've been there a few times but only for a few hours each time. And never into the canyon itself.

This appears to be a common experience as a ranger said that ninety-five percent of visitors never take a step below the rim itself.

My wife and I planned a few days at the canyon mostly to get a better feel for it and to walk the rim trail on the South rim. That's a fourteen-mile walk/hike. And we did it by splitting it up over two days.

Hiking down the South Kaibob Trail to Ooh-Ahh Point

The first day also entailed us getting our feet wet by going down the canyon. Ooh-Ahh Point is considered an easy hike. Almost one mile down, then back up. We did that to get the experience of what it's like to gauge better what we could handle.

Down the road, we'd like to hike down to Phantom Ranch by the river, stay overnight, then hike back up.

Ooh-Ahh Point at the Grand Canyon

We made it and felt we could have definitely handled going further down. We just didn't know, but now we do.

Then again, we had fourteen miles of the rim trail ahead of us at the time.

The rim trail was worth it. Shuttle stops meant there'd be an influx of people taking the easy route to experience the views along the canyon rim, but we felt relatively alone once setting off on the trail that connected each stop.

Peanut joined us and really liked this view on the rim trail.
Peanut also reminded us that, like a sloth, it's okay to go slow.

An added surprise, which was purely coincidental, is that we learned for one week in June every year the Grand Canyon sponsors a Star Party.

The week occurs with a new moon so its brightness doesn't affect the visibility in the sky of other planets, constellations, and galaxies.

They invite over fifty amateur astronomers for the week to set up their telescopes at night and share the experience of the incredible visibility the Grand Canyon offers at its elevation and absence of light.

I didn't have any way to capture any good photos but we got to see incredible views of Venus, Mars, and a few distant galaxies. And you could even see the Milky Way just by looking up at the sky without any aid. It's truly amazing how many stars you can see when the sky isn't filled with any light pollution.

Movies

  • The Thief Collector is a really interesting documentary about a famous painting stolen from an Arizona gallery in 1985 and found 32 years later hanging in the home of a couple in New Mexico. That's only part of the story as the other stuff they found unveils that the couple led a much more mysterious life than any of their friends and relatives would ever have imagined.
  • Extraction 2 is on Netflix currently and really fun. Just take your logic hat off and enjoy the ride. Some really great stunt choreography in it. Just that they are in the cartoon realm of the Fast & Furious vibe.
  • Asteroid City is Wes Anderson's latest film. I did really like it, but The Grand Budapest Hotel remains my favorite of his films. I feel any Wes Anderson film is like partaking in a fine-dining experience every once in a while. A treat for the senses.

Reelhouse Foundation Films

While June focused on made-for-TV films, The Devil Queen was a diversion that partnered with another Fort Worth film association, so it was a side-step.

  • The Amy Fisher Story (1993) tells the story of Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafucco. I didn't recall the story without refreshing my memory, but Amy Fisher attempted to kill Buttafucco's wife to get her out of the picture. Not the best film.
The Devil Queen
  • The Devil Queen (1974) is a Brazilian film based on the true life of a crime lord who built quite a legendary history. Cross-dressing and bad-ass, he famously took on over twenty police by himself in a fight until the police retreated. The film doesn't depict that specific event, but does get across how bizarre and cruel he was.
  • Duel (1971) is arguably the most famous made-for-TV film as it's Stephen Spielberg's first full length film. And it's quite a tense one. The production value is definitely above what you expect for something made-for-TV. ┬áReally worth your time if you want to check it out. You can see Spielberg's style when he was piecing it together.